Characterising volunteers' task execution patterns across projects on multi-project citizen science platforms

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Citizen science projects engage people in activities that are part of a scientific research effort. On multi-project citizen science platforms, scientists can create projects consisting of tasks. Volunteers, in turn, participate in executing the project's tasks. Such type of platforms seeks to connect volunteers and scientists' projects, adding value to both. However, little is known about volunteer's cross-project engagement patterns and the benefits of such patterns for scientists and volunteers. This work proposes a Goal, Question, and Metric (GQM) approach to analyse volunteers' cross-project task execution patterns and employs the Semiotic Inspection Method (SIM) to analyse the communicability of the platform's cross-project features. In doing so, it investigates what are the features of platforms to foster volunteers' cross-project engagement, to what extent multi-project platforms facilitate the attraction of volunteers to perform tasks in new projects, and to what extent multi-project participation increases engagement on the platforms. Results from analyses on real platforms show that volunteers tend to explore multiple projects, but they perform tasks regularly in just a few of them; few projects attract much attention from volunteers; volunteers recruited from other projects on the platform tend to get more engaged than those recruited outside the platform. System inspection shows that platforms still lack personalised and explainable recommendations of projects and tasks.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Brazilian Symposium on Human Factors in Computing Systems - IHC '19
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM), New York
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-6971-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019

External IDs

ArXiv 1908.01344
Scopus 85076725965